NYC Wrongful Death Lawyer

New York City Wrongful Death Lawyers

Understanding New York’s Wrongful Death Statute 

If your loved one passed away due to the careless, reckless, or negligent conduct of another, we at Keith D. Silverstein & Associates want to extend our sincerest condolences. 

This is an extremely difficult time in your life, and taking legal action may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, if someone else was at fault for your loved one’s death, you deserve justice—and our team can help.

Filing a lawsuit against the responsible party cannot undo the immense loss you have experienced. However, a just settlement or jury verdict can provide much-needed financial resources during this difficult time, allowing you to focus on healing. 

Our goal is to help your family obtain justice and fair compensation for the unexpected financial hardships you are now facing.

What Makes a Death “Wrongful?”

Generally speaking, the state of New York considers a death to be “wrongful” if it results from one of the following:

  • Neglect 
  • Wrongful acts or omissions
  • Default 

This includes all types of negligence-based events, such as medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents, as well as cases involving wrongful or illegal behavior. 

Continue reading to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim in New York City, or call us at (646) 813-3922 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.

Wrongful death claims often arise from the following types of incidents:

If the person who died (known as the “decedent”) would have had grounds for a personal injury claim had they lived, their death is likely considered “wrongful.” 

What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim & a Homicide Case? 

A wrongful death claim is a civil legal action, whereas a homicide (or manslaughter or murder) case is a criminal legal action.

In a civil legal action, the person or party bringing the claim (known as the “plaintiff”) seeks financial compensation for losses, or “damages,” sustained due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of the defendant. In wrongful death cases, this means that the plaintiff seeks compensation for damages related to the loss of their loved one.

Criminal cases, on the other hand, are brought by the state. In such cases, the prosecution seeks to punish the defendant for unlawful behavior, including criminally negligent conduct, leading to the death of another person. A conviction may lead to such criminal penalties as jail or prison time, fines, and more. 

Civil wrongful death actions can occur alongside or in the absence of criminal proceedings. The outcome of one case does not necessarily affect the outcome of the other. This is because the burden of proof is much lower in a civil lawsuit than in a criminal case. 

Because of this, it is possible to obtain a favorable jury verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit even if the defendant is found not guilty in a criminal homicide, manslaughter, or murder case. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

In New York, only the personal representative, or “executor,” of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death action. If the decedent passed away without a will and had not named a personal representative, the court will appoint one.

Although the personal representative must be the one to bring the wrongful death action, damages are sought on behalf of certain eligible family members, including the decedent’s surviving:

  • Spouse 
  • Children 
  • Parents 
  • Guardians 
  • Dependents 

Our team at Keith D. Silverstein & Associates can review your claim and determine whether you are entitled to file a claim or recover damages in a wrongful death action. Contact us today to learn more during a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Damages in New York Wrongful Death Cases 

In New York, damages are awarded to the decedent’s estate and their eligible surviving family members, decedents, and/or dependents. 

Some examples of damages commonly awarded in New York wrongful death cases include:

  • Medical expenses related to the decedent’s final injury or illness
  • Funeral and/or burial expenses 
  • Lost inheritance 
  • Income the decedent would have earned 
  • The reasonable value of non-financial support the decedent would have provided 
  • Parental care, nurturing, and guidance (awarded to children/dependents)
  • Conscious pain and suffering the decedent experienced due to their final injury/illness

The state also awards interest on the total damages awarded, calculated from the date on which the decedent passed away. 

However, it does not provide any compensation to survivors for their own pain and suffering, mental distress, anguish, or loss of companionship, comfort, counsel, care, guidance, society, etc. 

New York Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Generally speaking, you only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a liable party. The deadline begins on the date of death (not necessarily the date of fatal injury or illness). 

The statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits in New York is shorter than the standard statute of limitations on most personal injury claims. Additional deadlines may apply. We strongly encourage you to contact our New York City wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible to get the help you need to file your claim. 

For a completely free, no-obligation consultation and case review, call (646) 813-3922 or contact us online today. Hablamos español. 

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Right now, you are dealing with countless emotional, logistical, and financial challenges. The last thing you should have to worry about is filing a claim with the insurance company or bringing a lawsuit against the liable party. 

Instead, allow our team at Keith D. Silverstein & Associates to handle the legal details of your case so that you can focus on spending time with your loved ones and caring for your own wellbeing.

When you turn to Keith D. Silverstein & Associates, our attorneys will:

  • Meet with you to discuss the details of your case, answer your questions, and provide personalized information on how to proceed at absolutely no cost to you
  • Discuss all of your legal rights and options, including how our firm can assist you at every stage of the legal process 
  • Investigate the cause of your loved one’s death to determine what happened and, most importantly, who is liable 
  • Handle all communication with the insurance company, opposing counsel, and other parties so that you don’t have to 
  • Gather important evidence, such as accident reports and medical records, to build a powerful case on your behalf 
  • Negotiate with the responsible party for a fair settlement or, if necessary, prepare you and your case for litigation and trial
  • Aggressively represent your rights in the courtroom, if necessary 

We are here for you and your family every step of the way. We understand just how difficult this time is, which is why we want to ease some of the stress you are under and help you fight for the justice you deserve. 

We Care About Your Healing Our Client's Story

"My husband was injured a few years ago and Keith D. Silverstein & Associates was there to help him receive the compensation he deserved. They worked hard and never settled for anything less than what they thought he was entitled to."

- Virginia

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